We live in the Starfucker Era, where Celebrity is disposable and careers are born and buried by grainy 360p YouTube video. Offering something of value to modern culture is beside the point: we give our monkeys their 15 minutes to dance and shove then off stage.
The real Giants, then — the ones that come along and carve their names into the Earth — are a dying breed. The Walt Disneys and John Tolkiens forged legacies that will span the course of Western Civilization, gifting us with toys that we’ll be playing with for generations to come.
They are rarities, these men, and yet sadly it isn’t often they get to be celebrated within their own lifetime. George Lucas is an obvious one. George Romero spawned a mythology he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for.
But perhaps there is no one more deserving of the label of Legend than Stan Lee.
Lets shelve the debate over WhoWhatWhen and acknowledge the Kirbys and Ditkos and offer everyone else owed their share of the spotlight their share of respective credit. We can take it for granted that nothing is created in a vacuum, but while plenty of others contributed to various equations, Stan the Man is always the common denominator. And it’s no longer just the Geeks that know this.
Even before comic book films became the goto genre for Hollywood blockbusters, Stan Lee was an icon. Now that more people are becoming familiar with his creations through film than ever picked up a graphic novel or purchased a pair of Underoos, his immortality is assured. Uncle Ben’s “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” is a maxim quoted as much as any bible verse, and an endless parade of his creations will be making their introductions to the world for decades.
The We’ll Fix It in Post… staff has been fortunate enough to meet the Man a collective half-dozen times, and he’s always as gracious and charming as you’d want to believe. Full of wit and smiles, he somehow manages to make even a one minute meeting incredibly memorable.
If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area, do yourself a favor and shake his hand this weekend at the Pasadena Rock’n Comic Con. There’ll be comics and dealers and other assorted celebrities, but really – you should go to meet The Man.